In 2008 most of those accomplishments had not yet taken place. - 6 previous AA placements with 2 of them outside the top 4.
Metcalf was not yet an AA
Lance Palmer was a 1x AA returning 4
JB not yet an AA
Caldwell not yet an AA
Schlatter 2x AA 1 and Returning 3
Churella 2x AA 8 and returning 2
Jenkins not yet an AA
O'connor a 1x AA returning 5
Compared to this years 133 - 7 previous AA placements all within the top 4.
Miccic 2x AA 4 AND returning 2
Lizak 2x AA 2 and returning 4
Suriano returning 2
Pletcher returning 4
Wilson returning 3
The 2008 bracket went on to do some amazing things, but you cant give credit for how tough a bracket is form things they haven't yet accomplished.